Eric Edholm

  • The story of how the Patriots found themselves in a fourth-and-63

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 7 hrs ago

    This offseason, Shutdown Corner will travel down memory lane with a series of stories presenting some interesting and sometimes forgotten stories from the NFL's past. Join us as we relive some of the greatest and craziest moments in the sport's history.

    Watching a high school game almost 15 years ago, I remember some poor option-based offense facing a third-and-55 after a fumble and a slew of penalties. Naturally, they handed off before punting.

    I also recall a few wild long-yardage situations I’d seen in a few college football games —  Georgia faced a fourth-and-57 at Tennessee in 2011, and Minnesota facing a third- (and fourth) and-49 against Texas Tech in a bowl game the next year.

    These things look funny on a TV screen.

    Heck, the wildest thing I ever remember was Michigan State punting on fourth-and-goal. Granted, it was from the 40-yard line after Kirk Cousins had to fall on a fumble that went more than 30 yards the wrong direction.

    But it got me wondering: What was the longest down and distance to go in NFL history? I had no clue. Luckily, the Internet had some fast answers — and they even appear to be correct.

    “That’s the way you break in a new stadium!” LBJ said.

  • Bills GM Doug Whaley backtracks on controversial comments

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Tuesday wasn't a good day for the Buffalo Bills on a few fronts.

    First, the team issued a draconian and fairly ridiculous policy on what the media can report at its open practices, which was roundly panned as spin control from a paranoid organization. Then general manager Doug Whaley made some eye-opening comments on WGR 550 Radio on his views of the dangers of football.

    Asked about whether Bills wideout Sammy Watkins is injury-prone, Whaley dismissed that notion for the most part but launched into a bigger discussion about the nature of the game as a whole.

    "This is the game of football," Whaley said, via the Buffalo News. "Injuries are part of it. It's a violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play."

    Well, either someone got to Whaley or he realized what he said might cause a firestorm. He issued a statement on Wednesday clarifying his comments.

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  • Three Super Bowl sites were announced and Los Angeles is one of them

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The Super Bowl will return to the Los Angeles area for the first time in almost 30 years.

    The NFL announced the sites of three future Super Bowls on Tuesday, awarding Super Bowl LV to the Los Angeles Rams' new stadium project in Inglewood. The game will be played in February 2021.

    It was also announced that the new Atlanta stadium will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and South Florida will get Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

    But the crown jewel of these games awarded was L.A. and its return to the league this offseason.

    "On the heels of the National Football League's historic return to Los Angeles, the Rams are proud to be part of such a significant regional effort of teamwork, leadership and vision to bring the Super Bowl back to Southern California," Rams COO Kevin Demoff said in a statement. "We would like to thank the NFL owners for giving us this opportunity to host the nation's biggest event in sports and entertainment at our world-class stadium, to showcase the great cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood and to deliver an incredible experience for fans from across the globe."

    The next two Super Bowls will be played in Houston and Minneapolis.

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  • The Bills have some ridiculous rules about media and practice

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The Buffalo Bills have enacted a get-tough-on-the-truth media policy that prevents working members from reporting — get this — on things they see with their eyes. Also banned: Things heard with their ears.

    Via ESPN's Mike Rodak, the Bills' new reporting guidelines appear a bit, um, restrictive:

    Bills begin OTAs today. Reporters are not allowed to tell you who dropped a pass or who threw an interception.

    A typical story on the Bills' on-field work this offseason might read as follows:


    You ready for some hot Bills summer action?!

    So how are the new restrictions, enacted just in time for the Bills' Tuesday OTA session with no prior warning, playing out so far with the local media?

    A QB just threw a pick-six on his first pass in 11 on 11. It wasn't Taylor or Jones.

    Cornerback Corey White caught a pass that was not intended for him during team drills. #Bills

    I'll answer your question with a math question. What is Tyrod Taylor minus Dan Carpenter?

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  • Here's what Tom Brady's deflate-gate appeal could mean

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Monday marks the deadline for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to appeal his deflate-gate case, and all signs point toward his camp starting that ball rolling.

    According to ESPN, the NFLPA plans to file a petition this afternoon to rehear Brady's case "en banc" — which, in legal terms, means in front of the entire court — in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It's a risky approach, as typically the court defers to the findings of its three-judge panel, which previously had reinstated his four-game suspension by a 2-1 vote, as a matter of respect.

    But the NFLPA clearly believe it has a case and that Brady was wronged during the process.

    "The divided panel of the Second Circuit reached erroneous legal conclusions under an unfair and unjust standard," NFLPA attorney Theodore B. Olson said in a statement. "The decision and the standards it imposes are damaging and unfair — not only to Tom Brady but to all parties to collective bargaining agreements everywhere.

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  • Why do we still care about everything Johnny Manziel does?

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    The latest news on Johnny Manziel, which has become the sad new normal for him, has nothing to do with football.

    Manziel reportedly was kicked out of a Las Vegas club this past weekend after he allegedly punched a man, according to TMZ Sports. This story comes after news that the NFL is looking into the matter of an accident in Vegas in which Manziel was a passenger from a few months back.

    The NFL is treating Manziel like a current player even though he isn't currently on a roster and appears spiraling out of control to the rest of us. And yet he's still one of the most heavily-clicked people related to the NFL on the Internet.

    Why is that? Is it because people are voyeurs? Do they enjoy watching the Heisman Trophy winner careen off the tracks?

    Do others think he still has an NFL future worth salvaging?

    What is it about Manziel that has people so interested in every — often sad — move he makes?

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  • How Jim Harbaugh punching Jim Kelly helped Colts land Peyton Manning

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    This offseason, Shutdown Corner will travel down memory lane with a series of stories presenting some interesting and sometimes forgotten stories from the NFL's past. Join us as we relive some of the greatest and craziest moments in the sport's history.

    Jim Harbaugh came up just short in his bid to land the Indianapolis Colts in a Super Bowl when his Hail Mary pass was dropped in the end zone in the 1995 AFC championship game as time expired.

    But Harbaugh would help deliver a Super Bowl — albeit very indirectly — years later when he punched recently-retired quarterback and future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly in 1997.

    Yes, Harbaugh's right hook of Kelly was the first flap of the butterfly’s wings that helped the Colts land Peyton Manning and an eventual title in Super Bowl XLI.  

    Allow us to connect the strange dots in this story, which remarkably comes almost full circle again in the end.

    Harbaugh returned in 1997 and the Colts had an exciting young nucleus with Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison, and yet they got off to a nightmarish start with seven straight losses — five by six points or fewer — to open the season. Tension and tempers were rising in Indy.

  • Did Bucs have a first-round grade on kicker Roberto Aguayo?

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 6 days ago

    In a long, fascinating story in Pewter Report, which looked back at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' recent draft class, some very interesting news popped up. It appears they earmarked a first-round grade on a kicker.

    That, of course, would be Florida State's Roberto Aguayo, whom the Buccaneers traded up high in Round 2 to draft. As Bucs general manager Jason Licht says in the exclusive story, it's easy to connect the dots on how high a grade the team had on Aguayo.

    “We had Aguayo ranked high — pretty high,” Licht said. “We moved up into the second round to get him, so that should tell you something about where we had him ranked.”

    Typically, a team making such a move, trading up into the late second round (59th overall) to select a player (and give up a fourth-round pick to do so), means it has a very high grade on the player and believes he likely should have been off the board by that point, or that he likely would go before the team otherwise would have picked before the move.

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  • Jaguars first-rounder Jalen Ramsey suffers knee injury

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 7 days ago

    If it wasn't for bad luck, the Jacksonville Jaguars might have no luck at all. Especially with their first-round draft picks.

    Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the team's top pick in April, suffered a knee injury during offseason activities that is believed to be a small meniscus tear. Although it doesn't appear to be a season-ending injury, like the one rookie Dante Fowler Jr. suffered last year in the offseason, but another opinion is coming.

    Statement on Jalen Ramsey.

    Source: Depending on 2nd opinion, Jags' Jalen Ramsey could miss 4-6 weeks or 4-6 months. Two possible treatment options.

    Ramsey figures heavily into the Jaguars' defensive plans, as does second-round linebacker Myles Jack, who fell that far because of concerns about his knee. So naturally, there are some nervous folks right now in the organization holding their collective breaths. Back in high school, Ramsey required microfracture surgery to repair his knee, which ended his sophomore season entirely.

    We'll find out if their luck is improving with Ramsey's second opinion when it comes.

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  • Paid patriotism payback — NFL to return taxpayers more than $700K

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 7 days ago

    The NFL, which was criticized for its teams receiving profits for sponsored military tributes, will pay back $723,734 in taxpayers' money, according to

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league would pay back the money for "paid patriotism" — acts of military recognition during games — that had been funneled from the armed forces budget to teams.

    This is the right move by the league, but one that, even in admitting its own fault, makes the NFL look bad for profiting off these events in the first place. From 2012 to 2015, teams were found to have earned that total from 100 marketing agreements over that span, which included on-field flag ceremonies and tributes to welcome home veterans, based on an internal audit by accounting firm Deloitte & Touche.

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